Family of Texas LB Jake Ehlinger says he died of accidental overdose in May

·Writer
·2 min read
Texas Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger
Jake Ehlinger, the younger brother of former Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, died in May. (Scott Wachter/USA Today Sports/Reuters)

The family of Jake Ehlinger said Thursday that the Texas linebacker’s death in May was due to an accidental overdose.

Austin police said they found Ehlinger unresponsive on May 6 near the Texas campus. The 20-year-old’s death was not considered “suspicious” at the time.

His family said in a statement that they believe Ehlinger’s death was caused by Xanax laced with Fentanyl.

"Today we are sad to share that we have learned that Jake was a victim of an accidental overdose of what was believed to be Xanax laced with toxic drugs including deadly Fentanyl," the family said. "The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities.

"As our family continues to process Jake's death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain. We pray that sharing Jake's story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one."

Ehlinger is the younger brother of former Texas quarterback and Indianapolis Colts backup Sam Ehlinger. Their father, Ross, died in 2013 after an apparent heart attack while competing in a triathlon.

Jake spent two seasons at Texas.

"Words cannot express the depth of our sadness and the huge void we are feeling, but above all else, our hearts pour out to Sam, Jena, Morgen and the entire Ehlinger family," Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said after Ehlinger's death in May. "Jake was a tremendous person and was everything you could ask for in a student-athlete. Being a Longhorn meant everything to him, and he truly embodied all that it means to be one."